Quotes For The Book

Padmini took in the vast scene neatly laid out in Vijay Chowk, Delhi. It fanned out in wide roads with a symmetrical beauty. Towering over the scene was the tall arch, the India Gate, forty-two meters high, raised in tribute to the memory of the 50.000 solders of the Indian Army who died in action during World War- I. A dominating stone structure with a dignified presence. Padmini noted the names of the martyrs inscribed on the stone, and saw the inverted rifle with a helmet on the butt, as a solemn memorial to the immortal solders. The monument carried their names on its frame in a calm, stoic dignity. She watched in fascination the eternal flame burning in the memory of their noble sacrifice.

India gate. An ingress into…? It was a doorway, a passage. One could traverse through the open arch and cross over to the other side. Or come over from the other side. An entrance. Or an exit.

Here I am, already dead in the market-place of marriage. I’ve given up all human dignity and go round and round in a servile bondage of work without expecting any love or respect in return. Perhaps there are millions of other women like me. Would it be appropriate to inscribe our names in a corner of this India Gate? No. We’re not redeemed yet by the final dignity of a clinical death.

In contrast to the huge arch of India Gate was a small, shallow arch in brown wood, in the backyard of that house in Tiruchy. It was tightly shut. Why hadn’t it occurred to any of the daughters-in-law to open the gate stealthily and run away some place? Is this the case of a parrot getting used to the cage? The cage had become a house.

Why open the backdoor decently? Why not smash it open, and then pulverize the door?
“India Gate”, India Gate and Other Stories